Friday, August 10, 2012

i'll never roll my eyes at your muni complaints again...

Now that I take the bus most of the time (Brian still can't get over this), I've discovered that I'm not only saving A FORTUNE, but I am bombarded with life experiences every goddamn day. Some are magnificent, acts of human kindness or fashion do's, all of which I hope to remember forever.
For example, gold-rimmed aviator glasses with blonde highlights and celedon jeans. 
Wednesday was very much the opposite. 
Calmly along for the ride (as it were) was my friend and bus buddy, Blair (who is already famous for riding the 12.)
Since I'd started riding in June, I'd seen hints of the horrors of Muni I'd read about, heard about for years. I'd seen pee, I'd seen drugs. But Wednesday, I realized what everyone is always complaining about.
Through our various apps, Blair and I noted that our usual bus had fallen off the grid. The later one seemed to be lagging behind as well. We followed the 12's progress. There was one 34 minutes away, and another one 36 minutes away. 
I know the rest of you know this, but for my mother et al, the buses Blair and I take are supposed to come every 20 minutes. And through these marvelous iPhone apps, we can see when the next bus is due, what the closest alternate routes are. It's all very impressive. 
So by the time Blair and I met up, we were hoping to get on a bus 40 minutes after our usual, which had never shown up, nor had its predecessor. That meant that a TON of Financial District workers wanted to get on that 12, ANY 12.
Wisely, Blair suggested that we walk up a few stops to beat the crowds. Both buses seemed stuck at the "7 minutes" prediction time.
"We're going to die here. This is the worst day ever. We could be in our respective homes by now. Is Keri (Blair's fiance) home yet? I bet she is. Should you tell her that we're trapped, dying, that the bus will never come?"
Blair is very calm about these things. "If the bus doesn't come in 20 minutes, we'll split a cab."
I pretended to complain, but she had calmed me down. I am saving HUNDREDS of dollars a month by taking the bus. I could afford to split a cab. But still, usually my 12 comes every 20 minutes and it's so easy and direct. Why, God? Why is the bus being unreliable?
After AN ETERNITY, the bus finally came, and Blair's plan to walk up a few stops payed off. We got seats!
Two stops later, the 12 was backed with all of God's creatures, many of whom stood in the two stairwells. Blair tried to convince me that Diana Ross sang, "I'm Coming Up (Not Out)" as two men pushed their way onto the bus. One was younger than me, and very loud. He seemed drunk. His "friend" was much older, having lived a very rough 55-ish years. The older one had what Blair diagnosed as an "abscess." To me, it looked like he had a football inside his cheek. White liquid was squeezed out of one corner of his mouth. He was even more inebriated than the first guy.
Crushed into the bus, they proceeded to have one of those conversations for the sake of everyone else, everyone else who had suddenly fallen silent due to the unspoken, collective, "Oh shit."
I have learned on Muni that you can't show fear, because that's what the scene-causers like. But we were packed like sardines on this bus. Yet these two just screamed their conversation, mostly about Chevy cars.
"WAS IT MOTHER#%%&*^ BLACK AND $#%&$%^&^ GOLD?"
"NO #^$%#$#! IT WAS BLUE."
I would further repeat their chat about previous car-ownership, but these two dropped the N-word every other word. And all of this was screamed. Blair whispered, "Wow. Maybe this is performance art?"
When they finally got off the 12, I expected the masses left onboard to react with visible relief. Nope. Nothing. Like it never happened.
Was this a test of my political correctness? If I find a man with an oozing abscess on his face screaming racist and curse words on a city bus of concern, am I a horrible liberal person?
Actually, I feel like more of a San Franciscan for complaining not only about weird people on the bus, but about Muni's unreliability. I mean, honestly. How do TWO BUSES disappear? Is no one concerned? Maybe it's like the movie Speed, and someone should notify the authorities... or Keanu Reeves.

Related: Go see Muni Diaries Live tomorrow night! I don't know if I can go, but Blair will be there, so go say hi to her. It will be a hilarious and fun night of Muni stores better than the one above. And buy your tickets HERE.


Jack Traven said...

I was also perplexed when a Muni bus would mysteriously disappear into some sort of transit Bermuda Triangle. Could switchbacks have been the culprit all along?

I have also thought to myself, Maybe this is performance art?, but, alas, no.

Swimfay said...

just for the record you could have probably walked the way home and been just fine I mean really SF is only 7 square miles and the Mission is technically only 2 miles from Financial so you would have been home in say 35 minutes and healthier ....just a thought...because you know you can't wear heels on muni those would be RUINED!

Anonymous said...

Swimfay: For the record, I actually walk TO work a lot, and it's 4 miles, which takes about an hour, through some not so nice areas. The mornings aren't so bad but the evening can get pretty sketchy. Stick that in your "just for the record" pipe and smoke it!

Yours Truly,
12 Folsom Blair

ps. No one said hi to me at Muni Diaries - Boo Hiss!